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January 3, 2013

Google Glass Still Under Development, to Be on Market in 2014

Google Glass remains a work in progress, despite the wearable computing device project being announced more than six months ago.

The search engine company’s research team is continually working on new ideas for the device — a pair of titanium-framed glasses that is to display information much like a tablet does and possibly connect to the Internet with a voice command, project head Babak Parviz told IEEE Spectrum.

“There’s a lot of experimentation going on at all times in Google,” he told IEEE. “We’re also trying to make the platform more robust. This includes making the hardware more robust and the software more robust, so we can ship it to developers early this year.”

Google officially unveiled the glasses during its I/O conference last summer. At that time, the headset, which was controlled by head movements, had video and audio capability and a built-in compass and accelerometer.

When the glasses go on the market in 2014, consumers can expect to see a lot of improvements and additions to the device.

Parviz said although Google is not revealing specific features, the headset will have the ability to take photos and share them. Google is still in development mode so that voice commands and head gestures offer more innate control of the glasses. Glass also has a touch pad for user control and the device should also be able to accept phone calls.

The company is also aiming to get a full day of battery life out of the device.

“We are experimenting with a lot of things,” he said. “The feature set for the device is not set yet. It is still in flux.”

So far, there are no plans to feature advertising in Glass, Parviz said. It is also not known yet if the glasses will include apps or other similar functions.

“This is a complicated thing. This is not a laptop or a smartphone. It’s an entirely new platform. So how people interact with it and what people do with it is totally new territory,” Parviz said. “But we hope that when we ship this to developers, other people will also figure out what this very powerful platform is able to do.”

Parviz said developers will have the chance to create apps to take advantage of a “cloud-based API” to “integrate” with Glass services once the device ships next year.

Those who attended the Google I/O event last year will be first in line to own the devices — as long as those who are interested write a check for $1,500, they should receive their glasses later this year.